This question intrigued me this morning as I was thinking about whether or not the best in the league for the past decade are still the best. Number one and two used to be locked into place, but now it seems a new crowd has made it more competitive at the top. There just may be a changing of the guard in the NHL right now and so without further adieu. Let's get the rankings started. (PS Goalies are not included because they are uncomparable to players out of the net).
10. Johnny Gaudreau (CGY): The young "Johnny Hockey" took the league by storm last year in his rookie season. If anyone was predicting a sophomore slump, they were greatly disappointed. Gaudreau has 32 points already and should end up having a better year this year than he did in 2014-15. He also is still as clutch as ever with 4 Game winning goals this year. He is a blossoming star in the NHL
9. Erik Karlsson (OTT): The only defenseman in this top 10 plays more like a forward than he does a defenseman. Karlsson is remarkably T-4th in the NHL in points with 35. He is lethal on the powerplay and makes the best passes from the blue line out of any defenseman in the NHL. He is a dynamic skater and has helped Ottawa go beyond expectations thus far this season.
8. Taylor Hall (EDM): How long has the league waited for Hall to shine. He has always been a good player, but has never seemed to take the next step. When Connor McDavid went down with an injury, the Oilers looked like they were going to fight for another first overall pick, but instead Hall has carried them with 15 goals and 20 assists this season. The Oilers are also tied for 3rd in the Pacific Division thanks to Hall's performance.
7. Jonathan Toews (CHI): His numbers may not show it this year, but he is in my opinion the best captain in the NHL and may be the best two-way player in the league. Toews also steps up his game to another level in the Playoffs. He always plays at a high speed and never takes a shift off. Toews needs to improve his numbers to get higher in the ranking though.
6. Patrice Bergeron (BOS): A guy that has been in the league for seemingly forever is just 30 years old and every time the Bruins need a goal, it seems Bergeron is there to make it find the back of the net. He is also great on faceoffs and in the defensive zone. His positioning and Hockey IQ have him rated so highly in my rankings.
5. Vladimir Tarasenko (STL): Since he arrived in St. Louis, this Russian phenom has had no issue scoring goals. He has tremendous hands and a rocket shot. His 19 goals is good for 2nd in the NHL. His defense can be improved and if he can fix that, there is no reason he can't move up into the top 3.
4. Alexander Ovechkin (WAS): Ok. The old guard is still somewhere on this list. Last year I made the argument that Ovi was the best player in the NHL. I still think he can be, but as of right now he stands at #4. Last year he had 53 goals, which is unreal given the defensive nature of today's NHL. This year he is not really close to the top of the league in points with just 25, but his Capitals are one of the best in the league and he is their captain. Ovechkin consistently leads this team to regular season success and since the arrival of Barry Trotz, Ovi has improved greatly on the defensive end. This year may be his best chance to get that elusive Stanley Cup.
3. Jamie Benn (DAL): Benn has been on the Stars his entire career and many people just don't watch enough of them to see how good he really is. He has an old school look with no visor and plays along arguably the best center in the game. When Seguin finds Benn with an open shot, you can bet he's going to bury it. He was the league leader in points last year and now has 41 this season. There isn't much seperating him from #1 right now.
2. Patrick Kane (CHI): The point streak is over, but it can't be ignored. Pat Kane has been terrific as of late for the defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks. He leads the NHL in points right now with 46. He has made a living scoring big goals and being a clutch player for Chicago. With him playing at this level, it would not be surprising if the modern NHL Dynasty makes it back to the Cup Final.
1. Tyler Seguin (DAL): This kid is electric. There is not much more to say. He has really changed the direction of the Dallas Stars organization as their centerpeice. He is 2nd in the NHL in points this year and last year he had 77 points. His line with Jamie Benn, my #3 best player, is the most feared in the NHL and rightfully so. Seguin is a playmaker as well as a scorer. He can do it all.